Posted by: rcottrill | August 2, 2009

Lord’s Day Meditation – Committed and Confident

But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded (II Chron. 15:7).

Our Commitment
This verse contains a wonderful promise, made by the prophet Azariah to King Asa of Judah. Yet it deals with only one side of a vital divine-human partnership. No good telling us to “be strong” unless there is a way of strengthening us. We are weak, in ourselves (Jn. 15:5). But Asa had taken the right approach. He saw the people of Judah as “those who have no power.” So he prayed to the Lord, “We rest on You, and in Your name we go” (14:11).

There are always going to be discouraging and disappointing things that happen in the Lord’s work. But that is situational and temporary. It is when discouragement becomes a pervasive and motivating force affecting all we do that we are in danger of turning our backs on our calling. Azariah’s words exhort us not to do that. Don’t let your hands drop in discouragement–that is the meaning here. It pictures one who slackens his grip, who lets go, who gives up and forsakes the work of the Lord.

Our Confidence
The text gives us an encouraging pledge of God’s blessing of the steadfastness and faithfulness of His servants. The “work” spoken of is our work for God, our service for Him within His will and purpose. As Azariah puts it, “The Lord is with you while you are with Him” (15:2). When we are doing God’s will in dependence on Him, we can count on His blessing. The New Testament says, “Let us not grow weary while doing good [while accomplishing the good works of God], for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9; cf. I Cor. 15:58).

However, these promises need to be qualified as to the time of their fulfilment. All Christian service will be rewarded in that day when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10; Rev. 22:12). But it may not be that our work will be fully appreciated and rewarded here and now. Nor will we always live to see the successful completion of the projects in which we are involved.

King Asa’s prayer in II Chron. 14:11 became the inspiration for Edith Cherry’s 1895 hymn, We Rest on Thee. It was sung, in January of 1956, by the five missionaries who were about to make a first contact with the Auca Indians in the Ecuadorian jungle. They were all killed in the attempt, and did not live to see the fruit of their labours. But that was not the end of it.

Later, contact was made with the tribe, and many came to Christ, including those who killed the five men. And Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Yoderian have passed as victors through Cherry’s “gates of pearly splendour” to their eternal reward.

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendour,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.


Responses

  1. Thanks for the encouraging words and reminders about our commitment and our confidence in the Lord! That was very interesting too about the hymn, “We Rest on Thee”!

  2. Thanks back atcha, for your encouragement. Let’s keep on keeping on for Him. God bless.


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